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President Moon vows to 'respond resolutely to threats to the safety and lives of the people'

During his address at the 72nd Armed Forces Day ceremony, Moon stressed that “the Republic of Korea’s armed forces will become strong armed forces in the future, which can build safety and peace for the country, by securing an impregnable security posture.”

President Moon vows to "respond resolutely to thre

On September 25, President Moon Jae-in stressed that the government and the military will further strengthen the security and defense posture, pledging "the government and the military will respond resolutely to any act threatening the lives and safety of the people.”

Moon made the announcement at the ceremony to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Armed Forces Day, which was held for the first time at the headquarters of the Special Warfare Command in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, on Friday morning, adding “we can make, keep and build peace by achieving a strong security posture, which nobody can overcome, on our own.”

“The future armed forces of the Republic of Korea (ROK) should respond to non-military threats, such as infectious diseases including COVID-19, terrorism and disasters, as well as conventional security threats. They should also advance the embodiment of a digital strong military and smart national defense by preparing for the new concepts and types of war that will emerge in the era of the fourth industrial revolution,” Moon emphasized specifically.

In August, the government unveiled a mid-term national defense plan to successfully implement the ‘Defense Reform 2.0’ initiative by deploying 301 trillion won over five years, from 2021 to 2025. Accordingly, the government rendered a national defense budget proposal for 2021 to the National Assembly, amounting to 52 trillion and 900 billion won, a total budget increase of 5.5% compared to this year. Within this, 4 trillion and 250 billion won were earmarked for the budget for national defense research and development, an increase of 8.5%.

On that background, Moon showed confidence in the development of high-tech weapons system and security, saying “the strong power of the ROK’s future armed forces will be built up with our science and technology capabilities.”

“As the ROK-US missile guideline revised this year has opened the way for us to use solid-fuel space rockets, the government will move forward to develop the ability to launch a reconnaissance satellite, which can monitor potential threats in real time. Our land will be protected by our Army’s missiles, which are more accurate and powerful, and fly farther than both the ballistic missiles with a range of 800 kilometers and the cruise missiles with a range of 1000 kilometers,” Moon said.

Moon also mentioned other projects, including the development of a 30,000-ton light aircraft carrier, which will start from next year, the force integration of submarines with dramatically enhanced armed capability and underwater navigation capability, the development of a homemade fighter jet Boramae program, which is due for completion in 2026, small-sized reconnaissance robots, unmanned search vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, autonomous underwater mine probes, and reconnaissance drones.

“Service on the front lines and service on the rear lines are not separate from each other in maintaining an unshakable security posture,” Moon also encouraged soldiers. “Especially this year, I'd like to express my thanks for your hard work in maintaining a special posture against novel security threats, including COVID-19 and natural disasters.”

“The state will take responsibility for the young people who fulfill their military duties without complaining,” Moon said. “The state has strengthened its coverage for any medical conditions developed during mandatory military service, and has a plan to create a group insurance program for soldiers. To meet the needs of the new generation of soldiers, we will continue to make efforts to improve the barracks culture, in the areas of service conditions, facilities, and human rights, in an innovative way,” he added.

“The history of victory for the country continues to live on in today’s ROK armed forces. In terms of defending the country, day and night are not separate from each other, and we cannot leave it to anybody,” Moon added. “As we celebrate Armed Forces Day today, I promise that the ROK will create strong armed forces who can build safety and peace for the country.”

The event on Friday was held under the theme of ‘ROK’s future armed forces building peace,’ reflecting the government's strong wish to build a leading, technologically advanced army that can support peace in Korea.

By Joo-Hyeong, Lee < >

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